News

July 2023

‘My husband ran to rebuild the middle class’: First Lady Jill Biden speaks at City Hall

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden arrived in Columbus right on time Wednesday, landing at John Glenn International Airport at 1 p.m. and spoke later in City Hall.

by WSYX Staff | July 12th, 2023

Biden was in the city to announce the launch of a “Workforce Hub” in partnership with Columbus State Community College and local labor unions.

“I’m so excited to see how this work changes people’s lives here in Columbus and in other regions,” the First Lady said.

The administration previously announced her visit as part of a tour touting the “Investing in America” push to create jobs. In Columbus, the program is aimed to grow careers in the field of engineering technology.

Biden arrived at John Glenn International Airport and was quickly transported to City Hall for her speaking event.

The White House said Columbus has emerged as a center of investment in semiconductor manufacturing, clean energy, biotechnology, high-performance computing and transportation. The administration is also partnering with the city and local employers with the intent of creating better jobs.

“My husband ran to rebuild the middle class and that is what he is doing,” Jill Biden said of her husband President Joe Biden’s labor initiatives. She was joined by Mayor Andrew Ginther during the City Hall event.

The First Lady’s visit in Columbus will be followed by trips to Pittsburgh, Augusta, Ga., Baltimore and Phoenix.

In a news release ahead of Dr. Biden’s visit, the White House says, “The First Lady will participate in Columbus’ Workforce Hub launch convening and highlight commitments and initiatives led by the City of Columbus, Columbus State Community College, local employers, and unions.”

“Over the coming months, Columbus Hub partners will continue their work with the Biden-Harris Administration to identify new efforts and strategies to meet the region’s workforce needs,” Seth Schuster, a White House spokesperson, said in a new release.

Also at Wednesday’s event were:

  • Representative Joyce Beatty of Ohio.
  • Dr. David Harrison, President, Columbus State Community College.
  • Mike Knisley, Secretary Treasurer, Ohio Building Trades Council.
  • Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO, Columbus Urban League.
  • Kevin Hoggatt, Director of State Government Affairs, Intel.

Some of the programs impacting the Columbus region announced Wednesday:

  • CSCC and partners across the state to quadruple the number of students trained for engineering technology jobs over the next five years.
  • This fall, CSCC will launch a new certificate program for semiconductor technician roles that was developed in partnership with Intel through the Ohio Semiconductor Collaboration Network.
  • Partners will prepare at least 10,000 skilled construction trades workers to meet the demand of announced expansion projects in the region.
  • IBEW 683 Columbus will expand its Registered Apprenticeship program from 600 to 1,000 over the next four years.
  • Ironworkers 172 Columbus will increase their Registered Apprenticeship program from 150 to 250 in the next two years.
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters 189 Columbus, Sheet Metal Workers 24 Columbus, and Roofers 86 Columbus are all expanding their training facilities to meet the demand driven by these investments.

Read the story here.